My Kid Could Paint That 2007 PG-13 CC

(44) IMDb 7.2/10

A toddler's flair for abstract art makes her an overnight celebrity--until a T.V. expos points an accusatory finger at her father.

Amir Bar-Lev, Anthony Brunelli
1 hour, 24 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Mystery, Documentary, Kids & Family
Director Amir Bar-Lev
Starring Amir Bar-Lev, Anthony Brunelli
Supporting actors Elizabeth Cohen, Jonathan Crosby, Ron Curtis Jr., Michael Kimmelman, Laura Olmstead, Mark Olmstead, Marla Olmstead, Zane Olmstead, Celeste Russi, Tara Sands, Stuart Simpson, Jackie Wescott
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By ScottJ on December 19, 2009
Format: DVD
This is an excellent movie that is made even better if you figure out what is actually going on here. For while the film begins as a celebration of this girl's amazing talents, it quickly becomes an involving detective story much like Capturing the Friedmans - though one that ultimately inverts the trajectory of that film. Among many ironies and paradoxes in the film's treatment of modern art, the ultimate one may be that if you don't think through the evidence clearly the film itself becomes a similar kind of Rorschach test, eliciting dramatically opposed views of the film and especially the filmmaker. But make no mistake: the ambiguity is superficial. Especially with the fantastic bonus materials on the DVD, there is enough evidence to figure out what is really going on. The filmmaker is clearly torn between the academic film theories he embraces and foregrounding his own views. I have no such qualms about explicitly connecting the dots.

I presume familiarity with the movie. The central question is as follows: Did the father do these paintings, or the daughter, or some combination? The possible answers vary depending on which paintings one is talking about. For the paintings that initially made her famous, it is stated unequivocally by several people in the film that no one outside the family ever saw the girl painting. Thus, these paintings could have been done entirely by the daughter, entirely by the father (who is a painter), or some combination. After CBS' 60 Minutes II places a hidden camera (which the couple took two months to agree to), we see the first example of a painting definitely painted by the daughter - at least physically painted by her, a point to which I will return.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. Arena TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 23, 2008
Format: DVD
This documentary exposes, in a very objective manner, the manipulations of the "art world," the media and a very young child by parents.

Parents are ultimately charged with assuring the well-being of their offspring. This is a not-for-profit endeavor. I was as disturbed by the actions of these parents as I am by the pushy stage mothers who dress their daughters up as mini-adults and parade them on stage to win pageants. I perceive that the father in this story would be just as easily at home on a Little League field bullying an umpire as well as engineering this greed and publicity driven scheme.

My heart was also aching for the little brother. The scene depicting him pulling on his father's chair, seeming to beg for attention by announcing that he also painted while "in his mother's belly" spoke volumes.

I viewed the father as a strutting peacock who glories in the exploitation of this situation, and squirmed with discomfort as I watched the mother seem to gain sudden "awareness" while watching the televised expose. When that dawn came, it did nothing to bring the exploitation to an end. The documentary later shows her tearfully regretting what has transpired, but this masterpiece of manipulation and exploitation continues. Therefore, I hold her just as culpable as the father, who is the ring-master of this sad circus.

What is tremendously clear in this documentary is that this situation had become quite disturbing, that this negativity was abundantly clear to the parents, and that they fostered the continuation of the exploitation.

This is a brilliant and objective but very disturbing film.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charmerci on December 20, 2008
Format: DVD
Really liked the movie. In it, the art critic and (I think) the filmmaker said that all art is a lie. Well, I disagree with that - good art is a window to the truth. A good film will be able to penetrate behind the layers of deception. This one did.

Just before the part where the parents were watching the 60 Minutes report on Marla, the first time doubts about her ability were brought up, I said to myself that I had not seen anything that the child did showed me that she could do those paintings. When showing her painting, her level of concentration was extraordinarily short (though typical of a 4 year old,) she stabbed and poked at the canvas. She wanted to play.

So the Olmsteads ended up doing their own video of her doing a painting called Ocean because she would never paint with the mastery of the high priced paintings whenever an outsider was filming. (That happened five times.) In the special features follow-up, one guy said Ocean didn't look like the others. Being into art, that was an understatement. She ends up painting in Ocean what looks like a Mickey Mouse representation. Look at the circle representing "Mickey's" head. Then look at all the other almost perfect circles that fill up some of her other earlier paintings. Look at all the solid, steady wide brushstrokes that encompass the other very large paintings like Triptych. Look at the long, steady drips on the paintings (one painting, on the follow-up feature has a "V" where each arm is three feet long) compared with the jagged ones on Ocean.

There's another painting where a collector says that one part of it looks like a pathway to a door. Look at how smooth, steady and solid the wide brushstrokes are that are completely absent in Ocean or in any video of her painting.
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